What do you do after dinner? Do you and your family members or work colleagues or roommates or friends scatter to the four winds to do your own thing? Do you immediately go back to the work that was consuming you all day long? Do you plop down in front of the TV to lose yourself in your latest bingeworthy series?
My friend, wellness expert and creator of Small Changes Big Shifts, Dr. Michelle Robin, in her new card deck, “52 Well-Being Snackables,” suggests that we keep our dining partners close by to close out the meal by indulging in a scrumptious dessert of la passeggiata. Sounds delicious, right? Well, consider it nourishment for the soul. In Italy, it is common for people to take an after-dinner stroll or la passeggiata.
Funny enough, my family has been engaging in la passeggiata for years. Especially during the height of the pandemic, our favorite pastime was coming up with new routes for our walks – long and short versions. We even found an area that we have dubbed “the enchanted forest,” a gorgeous, tree-lined, semi-hidden path along the creek in a nearby neighborhood. Our strolls give us time to digest our meals, take in some fresh air, discuss a variety of topics, and connect in deep and meaningful ways.
And, by the way, though I am all about fostering connections to others, sometimes you may simply crave a little alone time. You can even practice la passeggiata on your own by taking in an audiobook or podcast during a 15-20 minute after dinner stroll.
Whoever you choose to invite for some la passeggiata, you will certainly be forging lasting relationships and fostering long-term health.